Friday, May 06, 2005

"Good" Economic News Is Bad Economic News

Strong jobs growth lifts stocks
GE upbeat; Intel pledges double-digit '05 revenue growth

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - U.S. stocks climbed Friday, boosted by a much stronger-than-expected April jobs report and upbeat comments from General Electric Co. and Intel Corp.

So screams the headlines. Alas for the American worker, Intel makes most of the chips in Asia and General Electric is making money off of the war in Iraq and expect many billions more thanks to reckless Congressional spending. Deep inside the NYT story:

The 274,000 net number of jobs added in April was the most since February and exceeded economists' forecasts. Before the report was released analysts were calling for a gain of around 175,000. They were also predicting the unemployment rate would be unchanged from March's reading of 5.2 percent.

Payroll gains were widespread, with retailers, health care providers, construction companies and financial services all showing employment rising. Manufacturing, however, lost jobs for the second straight month.

Ah, manufacturing jobs went down yet again. These tend to be the jobs with benefits and pensions and some other good things. Construction has few benefits offered. Many of the workers in that area are either illegal aliens or recent immigrants who don't care if they get little benefits. Then there is the health industry and money shuffling jobs. Whoopee. They are hiring. This is because of excess spending by our government. As are the remaining manufacturing jobs which are often tax payer/Asian investor driven.

In another development, consumer confidence sank over the past month as surging energy bills and higher borrowing costs led people to worry about inflation and the condition of the economy generally.

The AP-Ipsos consumer confidence index came in at 78.2 in May, according to figures released Friday. That was down sharply from the showing of 84.5 registered in April and represented the lowest reading since October 2003.

Well knock me down with a feather! I see mostly empty stores and people counting pennies when they spend. They were hit very hard this winter up here in the Northeast. High fuel prices have sobered many people up. They wait with increasing fear for the price to go down but it stays up defiantly. So why are things so "hunky dory"?

Happy days are here again?

Red ink. It still flows in a mighty river. $600+ billion a year for the last four years and threatening to continue for seemingly ever.

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